VENTURES AFRICA – South Africa’s mobile telecommunications operator Vodacom has announced a 9.3 percent rise in its first quarter revenue, attributing it to data growth and expansion of its customer base.
Vodacom, South Africa’s arm of British mobile operator Vodafone disclosed that within the quarter to end-June, it has generated revenue totalling 17 billion rand ($2.1 billion).
“I am particularly pleased with the sustained high growth delivered by the international operations. Data demand in this segment is accelerating, with active data customers increasing 152 percent and data revenue up 150 percent,” said Pieter Uys, Vodacom CEO who is expected to step down in March and hand over to Shameel Joosub, the current head of Vodafone’s Spanish unit.
However, despite the fact that it has the largest number of subscribers in South Africa, Vodacom is still trailing behind arch rival MTN Group on the continent as both companies are competing to generate more revenues from data in the face of stagnation in mobile voice usage.
Vodacom currently operates in South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique and Lesotho, with total number of customers reaching 50 million at the end of June which shows the addition of more than 2 million new customers to the 47.8 million it had at the end of March.
At the JSE, Vodacom’s shares increased by 2 percent in 2012 against the 4 percent rise it had in 2011 as recorded in the benchmark Top-40 index.